Friday, March 9, 2012

Books, Books, Oh So Yummy Books!

So, as some of you may know I was recently asked if I would like to review some books by Lark, I don't know what I did to receive such an honor and I'm totally stunned that anyone would even want my opinion, but you're going to get it :)

First up is Diane Fitzgerald's "Favorite Beading Projects"
Now, Diane is one of the Grand Dame's of beading as far as I am concerned and it's daunting, to say the least, to offer my opinion of one of her books...but here we go.

 I think this is a very well thought out book...even a little sneaky, in a good way :)  What do I mean by "sneaky"?
Well, seed beads and bead weaving can be scary to a lot of people and their immediate thought is "I can't do that" a teacher of bead weaving and having done numerous demos I have heard that hundreds of times.
With this book Diane cleverly introduces seed beads by showing mouth watering projects that take the reader from simple stringing designs into actual bead woven designs.

Take this project, "Fortune-Teller Beads", if you're someone who has strung beads this is very tempting, because it builds on what you know with a simple technique to take your skills to the next level.  All of a sudden you know how to do netting stitch, and if you can do that...well, the door is open. 
I love smart people and smart things and I can honestly say Diane and this book fall into those categories.  If you have ever looked at seed beads or bead weaving and thought "I can't do that" buy this book!  If you know someone who has drooled over your designs and said "I could never do that" buy them this book!
The designs are delightful and temptingly easy enough for a beginner.
My thanks to Diane for writing this book because I know she is converting people to bead weaving with it and as a designer of beading tutorials I get to benefit from there being more seed bead lovers in the world :)

And now for something completely different :)
Something I don't do but have always wanted to do....Metal Clay.
I do work in polymer clay but haven't as yet moved to metal clay.....mostly because my mother thinks I'll burn the house down with the blow torch.  She's wrong....that would be my brother :)  With the upcoming move I will have a place of my own...with hopefully a garage...and that workbench I see in Costco so I can start working in metal clay.

So...we have "Metal Clay Fusion" by Gordon K. Uyehara and what a scrumptious book!!
This book makes me want to order metal clay immediately (must not, must not) with stunning photos of Gordon's gorgeous work, I'm a fan.
And Gordon shows us how, step by step!
It really is a thorough book on the skills required, teaching you everything you need to know to create beautiful metal jewelry.  In a mere skimming of the book I learned so much and I know it will be my 'go to' book when I do start working with metal clay.

Gordon really covers all the angles, from a really complete list to put your 'Metal Clay Kit' together and how to use everything, with techniques to take you from beginner to advanced.  He does recommend taking a class if you've never worked with metal clay before and once you've looked through this book I think you'll be looking for the closest, soonest class available.
I also really appreciated the section on "Artiquette" about being professional as an artist and being original....I will share what he says about being original because I think this cannot be said enough and he says it so well.

"Thou shalt not copy. Just don't do it. Though it's true that there really is nothing new under the sun, let me make it very clear : If it looks like somebody else's work, don't publish it or sell it as your own. Add your personal, distinctive touch to it so you can make it your own. This is especially true with regard to published step-by-step instructions. Even though it's public, it never was your idea. So step up and credit the designer. Someone will call you on it anyway. Avoid the embarrassment, because those in the community will know."

True words!   And here are a couple of examples of projects in the book...a very original bead and a cool bangle.

Click on the book covers to go to where you can buy these great books.

And finally....yesterday I received a big box of books from Lark, one of which was Jamie Cloud Eakin's "Dimensional Bead Embroidery" which I bought a couple of weeks ago and reviewed before I knew I was going to be a reviewer. I have two copies....I'm not greedy, so I am giving a copy of this great bead embroidery book away.

Just tell me why you should be the lucky recipient and the person who convinces me they need it the most will get it...though you will have to pay the shipping. Don't forget to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you.


  1. Diane Fitzgerald's book seems to be interesting,like all previous by her.I've already ordered it at
    Thank You for the info.

  2. I can't afford classes, nor can I travel, so books and tutorials are my way of learning from some very amazing designers. I am self taught and would love to receive Dimensional Bead Embroidery by Jamie Cloud Eakin.

  3. Oh my goodness! So many reasons! Most of all needing more instruction and inspiration when it comes to dimensional beading:) Thank you Mikki!!

  4. Ok....I know it's exciting to have a chance at a free book.....but if you don't leave me your e-mail address I won't be able to get it to you :)

  5. I really liked Diane's book also. Interestingly, Dimensional Bead Embroidery is on the top of my Amazon wish list. I added it after you reviewed it a few weeks ago. I've never done bead embroidery, but have wanted to try it, especially after reading your blog post. This book sounded so interesting and will make me get off my rear and start embroidering.

  6. What cool books! Having adopted 2 wonderful daughters from Ethiopia recently, I'm starting back into making and selling jewelry. The books would be put to good use! Beign a mom is fabulous, but I want my daughters to see that they can do many things well AND use their own creative talents to make a living! Thanks for the chance to win. :)

  7. oh gosh what fun!
    first off i do alot of work on my art quilts with beads, secondly i would find this oh so helpful to amp up the visuals on them. often times we get so complacent with the old techniques and do not venture out of your comfort zone...i NEED to leap and dance out of those zones to more exciting things!

  8. I would really love to win Dimensional bead embroidery since it is the best way to move forward, get better, learn.
    I dont know what more to say. Just that I would love to win.

  9. Well, I was going to enter, to try and win this book for my wonderful Sister, who loves my book and needs her own, but I can't go past Verbenabeth's post! How awesome, unselfish and kind to adopt two underpriviledged children and encourage them into being creative!!!!

  10. Okay....lucky you to get all those books to review and they obviously chose you because they knew they would get a fab and conciderate write up from you :) Now, you know that I have been mucking about with the idea of doing, or rather, trying some Bead Embroidery...just to see what else I can bring to my designs and this sounds like the kind of book that would be right up my alley...dimensional beading! Oh and as for metal clay....deadly stuff! I have Silver Art clay and have played with it....very rewardig to work with and I have seen amazing stuff with polymer and silver clay in one die for!

  11. Great reviews Mikki! How exciting to get al those books from Lark...looking forward to future reviews!

    I hardly think it's fair for me to even enter this giveaway seeing as how I have just won 2 in a row...I think people might start to suspect something if I were to win again so soon! So as much as I would love to win again, maybe you should leave my name out of the drawing this time!

    I have had Jamie's new book on my Amazon wishlist since it was available as a Pre Order! The only reason I don't have it yet is a purely financial reason...

    I do have another book by Jamie, "Beading with Cabochons" and it's excellent, so I know this new one must be incredible!

    Being another self taught beader, I learned everything I know about beading from Books, Magazines, Tutorials, websites, etc. And a really well written book or tutorial is almost like a one on one class, in your own home, on your own time!

    I love learning new beading techniques, or "new to me" techniques. And right now, that would be Bead Embroidery. Every new technique learned or skill honed adds that much more depth and character to our own work.

    Good luck to everyone! And whoever wins this book definitely deserves the win!

  12. @ Heather....oh really? My first piece is in the works, the major parts done and now it's the true bead embroidery part.
    Lol...Vimala, I've been toying with actually having the people who comment choose a winner (cos I'm chicken) but I'll probably whittle it down and then play spin the bottle...there must be an empty wine bottle around here somewhere ;)

  13. I am a self-taught beader. I started beading in 2003 after my laryngectomee. I wanted something to wear over my trach that looked feminine and not just a crotched cover. I started making beaded fringe bibs. Beading is my therapy and an outlet to express myself. Since starting; my beading has evolved over the years and I am always looking for something new and unique to make. I also like incorporating my Original Surface Pattern Designs from my art background into my beading. This Phenomenal book on Dimensional Bead Embroidery would be a great reference to have. I can just imagine how my Surface Patterns Designs would come to life in a Dimensions Beaded piece of art. The ideas are endless.

  14. well i may have no chance now after some of these amazing comments, but here goes :D
    im a self taught beader, been beading over 3/4 of my life (omg thats a long time), LOVE LOVE LOVE to learn new things, and recently taught myself the basics of bead embroidery, but i would absolutely love to learn more, and more, and MORE lol!!
    i love thinking up a pattern, and putting it into reality, and seeing what it ends up looking like, usually its entirely different, but just as amazing as what was in my head. i love playing with my beads, i can sit there and make a peice of jewelry or some other type of bead art, and not even realize that 3 or 4 or 5 hours go by!! beading is one of my absolute favorite things in the WORLD.
    <3 <3 <3

    heather mcphee

  15. Thank you, have been wondering if I should invest in Diane's book. Obviously yes! Don't embroider, so the book should go to someone deserving. Really enjoy your blog, too!

  16. Good morning! I would love Jaime's new book. I enjoy doing bead embroidery and would be happy to add new skills to my toolbox. If you give me the book, I will pay it foward and gift another beader with a another book from bead book stash.

  17. Thank you for the opportunity to be selected for this bead embroidery book. I'd love to learn the stitching of embroidery with beads. I've done regular embroidery, but not with beads. When I find something I want to try I usually find patterns to use to learn the skill. Having this book would provide me with the opportunity to learn this skill also. Thank you for considering me for the drawing.


Thanks for commenting :) I don't care for moderated comments but due to people posting ads in the comments section I've been forced to add this function.